Small business holiday gift guide


Lena McEachern

The Carlsbad small business holiday gift guide features local shops Aura Candles, The Four Lunas, Village Rock Shop and Stamped at the Sea.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a multitude of challenges to small businesses throughout the nation as they adapt to evolving safety regulations and a changing economy. This holiday season, Carlsbad residents can support small businesses throughout the city by purchasing gifts from the local shops below.  

The Aura Candles scent “Merry” includes notes of Siberian fir, cinnamon bark and golden raspberry. Photo courtesy of Aura Candles.
(Aura Candles)

Aura Candles

Aura Candles is a small business run by Jasmine Parks and Chelsea Wilson that sells cruelty-free and hand-poured candles. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the shop has encountered rising costs and scarce product components, but has remained stable with the support of the local community. 

In addition to selling everyday scents of candles, diffusers, wax melts and more, Aura Candles sells a scent called “Merry” for the holiday season. To shop with Aura Candles, customers can visit their website or visit their studio in Carlsbad, located on the map below.

Our candles and products are made by hand with the finest ingredients. Not only are you supporting a small business, you’re getting a quality item that isn’t mass-produced,” Parks said. “A win-win!”

The Four Lunas

The Four Lunas’ pecan toffee’s ingredients include organic butter, organic raw cane sugar, pink Himalayan salt and fresh roasted pecans. Photo courtesy of The Four Lunas.
(The Four Lunas)

The Four Lunas is an Etsy shop run by Nora Luna that sells a variety of toffee flavors, including chocolate, roasted almond and roasted pecan. The toffee is made from all organic ingredients, even down to Luna’s homemade vanilla extract made from vanilla beans from Madagascar. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the shop has experienced a significant rise in business as people look for feel-good comfort products in the midst of challenging times. 

“Like me, there are a lot of people that love candy,” Luna said. “You put a piece in your mouth and you get to escape for a few minutes.”

The shop has also stringently followed Covid-19 safety precautions, even wrapping each piece of toffee individually to ensure consumer safety. To shop with The Four Lunas, customers can visit their website, and Carlsbad residents can receive a discount with the promo code LOCALSHIP.

Village Rock Shop

These Agate crystals sold by Village Rock Shop contain benefits like emotion stabilization and improved concentration. Photo courtesy of Village Rock Shop.
(Village Rock Shop)

The Village Rock Shop, run by Xenia Mateiu and Carey Hopkins, is a gift store in Carlsbad Village that sells crystals along with locally handmade products like candles, soaps, sprays and jewelry. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shop has worked to grow their online presence through social media and their website.

We carry crystals from around the world in our shop, and even if you are not a rock collector or enthusiast, they are definitely beautiful to look at, they can be used for decoration, or maybe you have loved ones that love crystals,” Mateiu said. “These are great gifts for holidays because most likely your family and friends haven’t seen them before.” 

To shop with the Village Rock Shop, customers can visit their website or visit their walk-in location on the map below. 

Stamped at the Sea

Stamped at the Sea’s I Love You necklace features the phrase “I love you” in sign language on a rose gold and stainless steel necklace. Photo courtesy of Stamped at the Sea.
(Stamped at the Sea)

Stamped at the Sea is a small business owned by Mandy Jericho that sells personalized bracelets, necklaces, keychains and gifts. As a home-based shop, the business has picked up during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people shop online.

“I’ve always felt that personalized/handmade gifts are the true gifts that come directly from the heart,” Jericho said.

To shop with Stamped at the Sea, customers can visit their website